Daniel Ricciardo is in the midst of a contract renewal upheaval, with both Mercedes and Ferrari interested in securing his services and Red Bull desperately trying to convince him to stay.
However, reports have emerged that Ricciardo might have already signed a pre-contract with Ferrari, and will join the Italian team in 2019 after his contract with Red Bull comes to an end after this season.
However, Ricciardo has rubbished claims of this apparent ‘pre-contract’ with Ferrari, explaining that he has only had contract talks with Red Bull.
“That is not true. I can say that,” he said.
“I’ve only had talks with Red Bull.
“Even already last year we have been pretty open with each other and through the media as well they say they are interested in keeping me. We have had some talks regarding this.
“I am aware of other reports, but there hasn’t been anything else. They are not true. At least not up until now. Certainly not.” he added.
Ricciardo in fact took a slight dig at Ferrari, for making Raikkonen play second fiddle to Vettel, which was fairly visible from their strategy in China.
The Australian dreams of winning the F1 title and would want a lot of freedom from any team that he signs up for.
“These are certainly things I would, wherever I may be or go, I would always make sure there was some clarity,” Ricciardo said.
“I wouldn’t want to go somewhere where I didn’t feel I had a chance. At the moment what I am chasing, to try to be world champion, it is my goal and dream and something I really believe I am capable of.
“If someone said, ‘we will let you here but you can’t do this’, that is not an attractive option to me. Is that the case somewhere? I honestly don’t know what is going on with other teams.
“At Red Bull there has always been really good clarity and fairness since 2014, since I have been there, so that has been certainly a nice environment and I would expect that environment everywhere.” he added.
Ricciardo is in no rush of singing a new contract, and has given himself until the summer to make a final decision.
“For sure, the summer seems fine,” he said.
“I guess I don’t really fear not having a seat next year so I don’t feel I need to sign something tomorrow or I have nothing.
“So for that reason I feel I can wait until the summer. I don’t feel I need to push anything until then.” he added.